Watch RTB Go live from Brunei
Radio Television Brunei also monopolies the free-to-air television in the country, and also radio until 1999, when the country's only commercial radio station, Kristal FM was founded. The network's logo was based on the national emblem of Brunei.
Radio Television Brunei was officially opened on 2 May 1957 with a Hari Raya Message from His Majesty Al-Marhum DYMM Paduka Seri Baginda Maulana Al-Sultan Sir Muda Omar Ali Saifuddien III. There was one studio that broadcast for 45 minutes each evening from 8:00 to 8:45 pm. The range of the single 1.2Kw transmitter was only five miles around the capital Brunei and surrounding areas. Radio Brunei first transmitted programs in 1957.
In 1974, RTB had only 171 staff and three transmitting sites giving almost 100% coverage of the country and beyond.
Radio Television Brunei launched the first pilot television service on 1 February 1975 with Channel 5 test transmissions began the trial of broadcasts. Official regular television services began on 1 March 1975 from Brunei-Muara District. RTB1 was officially opened by the Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah on 9 July 1975. There were only three staff in the RTB studio and four to attend the transmitter.
- Phase 1 - Used part of the Radio Studios as the television station.
- Phase 2 - Utilising the current multi-purpose studio complex which was fully commissioned by 1980. A second television transmitter, operating RTB2 or Channel 8 was commissioned at Brunei-Muara District on 1 March 1976.
On 1 March 1976, was also the year of the first outside television broadcast which was the coverage of His Majesty's birthday parade from the then 'Town Padang'. The television project was budgeted at B$35M. FM Stereo Radio Services from Brunei-Muara District started on 1 March 1977. At the same time, two high power Medium Wave stations at Brunei-Muara District commenced transmission of the Malay language service. RTB currently has 1000 staff. Coverage by radio and television is almost 100% of Brunei.
On 11 April 2017, RTB made a major rebranding project for its TV stations. RTB1 and RTB5 merged to form RTB Perdana, while RTB2 and RTB3 HD combined as RTB Aneka while RTB4 renamed as RTB Sukmaindera. The rebranding was made as part of RTB's plan to transition the current analog television broadcasting to digital television.
RTB broadcasts three television channels:
- RTB Perdana - An 18-hour national flagship channel of Radio Television Brunei aired news and information programs, with mostly local and imported programs such as Indonesian series known as Sinetron, Filipino and Spanish telenovelas, Malay dramas from neighboring Malaysia and Singapore, Soap operas in English from Anglophone countries, K-dramas or J-dramas and to a lesser extent, Thai lakorns.
- RTB Aneka - A 14-hour second channel of Radio Television Brunei airs entertainment programs.
- RTB Sukmaindera - A 24-hour international satellite television channel airing all of RTB programs both locally and internationally.
Note: These channels have news content. However, the newscasts of the news division are primarily aired on RTB Perdana. Some of the channels tends to simulcast the news division's programs including RTB Sukmaindera, while RTB Aneka replays some of the division's news programs.
In addition to television, Radio Television Brunei runs 5 radio networks. To mark the 50th anniversary of a Radio broadcast on 2 May 2007 the radio networks changed their names to "suit the times", here are the 'new' names of the radio services:
- Nasional FM (92.3FM/93.8FM/594AM) - Government information on political issues, religion, news, and current affairs, information, and culture. Started broadcasting on 2 May 1957 as Radio Brunei was originally called the Malay language service.
- Pilihan FM (95.9FM/96.9FM) - Broadcasts in English for the general public and Mandarin for the minority Bruneian Chinese, covering local information on current affairs, as well as contemporary music. Pre-recorded programs for the small Cantonese-speaking Chinese community are also broadcast on this channel on a daily basis. It started broadcasting in 1963.
- Pelangi FM (91.4FM/91.0FM) - Geared for youths and teenagers, with information about educational and religious affairs, as well as music and entertainment. It started broadcasting in 1965. Pelangi FM has always been regarded as the no. 1 radio station in Brunei.
- Harmoni FM (94.1FM) - Family programming, with religion, live local sports coverage and music. It started broadcasting on 15 July 1970.
- Nur Islam Network (93.3FM/94.9FM) - Wholly devoted to teachings about Islam. It started broadcasting in 1984.